EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD Dora Mwiima has just made history as the youngest woman ever to be crowned Miss Uganda. She beat 17 other contestants to take the crown and she is slated to represent Uganda at the Miss World Beauty Pageant in Europe in October.
What did your crown come with?
A car ( though I have not seen it because the organisers want me to go through a driving school first), sh1m worth of Mango airtime, a blackberry mobile phone, a laptop and of course the chance to represent Uganda at the Miss World Beauty Contest in Europe in October.
Did you see all this coming?
I did not. I had enrolled for the Miss Teen in Nairobi and got into the top 10, but I was disqualified at the last minute because they discovered I am Ugandan.
So even in this Miss Uganda boot camp at the Kingdom of Katami, I often got misgivings of myself getting to the top.
Did you live in Nairobi prior to the
Miss Uganda auditions?
Yeah, my dad is a pastor and he got the calling to go and do missionary work in Kenya. We stayed there until three months ago when we came back home.
Tell us more about your background
I was born in Nsambya Hospital and grew up in a family of two boys and two girls, along with mum who was a teacher/womenâ€™s counsellor. Unlike other children, I have studied primary and secondary school from home. My mother was my first tutor.
In nursery school and sometime in primary, we got a professional tutor. I enrolled into the School of Tomorrow, an American distance learning academy, whose offices are in Nairobi. So I studied at home until 12th grade.
Hasnâ€™t your home-schooling turned
you into an introvert?
On the contrary, it has not. I have always challenged myself to always interact with everybody and make lots of friends whenever I attend a social event.
I am reserved, but I also try to make the best impression on the people I meet. I really get stressed when I talk to people who do not appreciate me. I keep asking myself, what have I done to displease this person, but I make peace and let them think they are right.
What is your remedy for stress?
This is a bit personal, but usually, I head to an ice cream parlour.
Any other pleasures?
I love shopping; watching comedies and horror movies; I also enjoy painting, and interior designing â€” just making sure that everything around me looks fabulous.
I also love chatting, but I do not gossip. I only attend private and reserved parties. Clubbing and getting wild is not my (type of) thing.
At the Miss Uganda finals, NileBreweriesâ€™ Shem Semambo â€˜crownedâ€™ you with six bottles of Club Beer, saying you were the ambassador for the beer. Did you drink all the six bottles?
Oh no, I did not. I do not even know who took them. I do not take alcohol and I never want to.
I presume that as Clubâ€™s new ambassador you are supposed to be kicking off the party for beer drinkers wherever you go
That is true, but I will only be going to gatherings and telling people that Club is great-tasting and easy drinking and so they should buy it. I have never tasted the beer, but I trust what the billboards say.
So you believe in judging a book by its cover?
Not really, but it is just like an airline assuring you that they are going to give you a great flight to a place you have never been!
How many languages can you speak?
English, French, Luganda, Swahili and Greek. I learned the latter from my home school tutor and much of it is the old Greek from which the Bible was translated.
Yes or no to a nip and tuck?
Now what is a nip and tuckâ€¦oh cosmetic surgery! I would not do it because I am perfect and fear that cosmetic surgery would only make me ugly and unsure of myself.
Yes or no to alternative therapy?
Definitely yes! I am not used to getting medication from hospitals. Even when I catch a cold, I would rather take passion fruit juice and sleep, than head to the clinic first. For pimples, I would rather use warm water and salt. I also think women who use natural herbal cosmetics are pretty cool.
Condoleeza Rice, Janet Museveni and Nelson Mandela.
Once during the Miss Uganda run, you said you have more male friends than females. Why is that?
Men are genuine, frank, sincere and do not nitpick every detail about another person. Some girls are nosy, envious and tend to gossip a lot.
If you dress poorly, a girl will tell you that you look great, so she â€˜dresses to killâ€™ so that when you go out with her, she stands out.
What are your expectations?
I want to live an exemplary life that will make me popular and important to society. I actually want to the disadvantaged children to benefit from my influence.
Who is Dora Mwiima?
Eighteen-year-old Mwiima is from Tororo district.
Born to a Muganda mother and Munyole father; Mwiima is the third-born of four children.
She never had a formal education; she studies under the home-schooling system and is currently studying Greek civilisation. She will get her Advanced Level of education from Lusaka, Zambia.
Mwiima wants to be a fashion designer and painter.
Her dad is a pastor and her mother a counsellor.
She loves instrumental music and reading.
She is eloquent and generous with her smile.
Compiled by Pidson Kareire
Home schooling brought out the best in me-Mwiima